Many people find that upon retirement they need something to do and end up doing volunteer work to occupy their time. I am not a joiner and seldom participate in any kind of social event in my community. Staying at home is the most wonderful thing in the world to me. In my lifetime I’ve spent so many days away from home for long extended periods of time. Not anymore, the hermit life is more my style. Of course when home is a multi-generational household with grandparents, parents and grandkids, well it isn’t a typical hermit-like life. Still, I wanted something to do and with my resident author daughter going the route of self publishing as an indie author I found the indie author community. These authors need all the support they can get because self publishing is slow at garnering a large following of readers. So many readers in the general population have a skewed impression that self published indie author works are substandard to traditionally published works. Sure there are a few books out there with less than stellar stories and editing, but, I’ve found so many truly talented story tellers with books that rival any traditionally published work. Those who refuse to read anything but traditionally published books are doing themselves a disservice. They are missing some amazing books written by amazing authors.
So, with that preamble, I want to tell you about my retirement volunteer work. Once introduced to the indie author community I fell in love with them. The authors gather in groups on social media and are supportive of each other. Little dissension is found, and for me that is a true sign of a healthy community. I decided that I would make it my mission to help indie authors get their work noticed.
Now, I’m not a big social person and at this time I’ve not got a lot of followers but that is slowly growing. When I first started about 16 months ago all I did was read and review books on Amazon. Then I decided that for myself I would start a blog to talk about issues that meant something to me and for which I have an opinion. I had somewhere about 13 topics that I wanted to write about and felt that one a week would be a good thing. I didn’t expect much in the way of followers. Soon however, I began posting my book reviews on my blog and writing an occasional post about indie authors or something related to them. For awhile I added author interviews and featured an author a week with an interview on Wednesday and a book review on Friday. Well, interviews seemed to be less popular than reviews and though I tried to personalize each interview, they started to all feel the same to me. After a vacation to visit my other daughter I decided that I would only do interviews on occasions.
Not long after I began my blog I was asked to beta read for an author. Now I had read my daughter’s book before she sent it to an editor and had made comments, but, I really did not know what is expected of a beta reader. I had to do some research to get a better understanding. Since then I’ve done quite a few beta reads. I even have a small indie publisher who asks me periodically to beta read and give my impression of something they are considering publishing. After awhile, I offered to do a copy edit for an author and that led to working with another author on a more detailed edit for content as well as copy editing. So far I’ve worked with three authors at various levels of editing. I have another couple in the wings as well.
Recently when asked to read an ARC for an author of the current book in her series that will be released soon I asked her about any blog tours. Well, suffice it to say, she had none planned and I asked if I could organize on for her. She agreed. I’m still in the process of getting everything together, but, it is all coming together nicely. With the help of a couple of other fantastic people in the indie author community it is becoming something that I feel will be quite successful. Nice graphics for the blog tour stops, the blog tour blitz and promotion are being done by a wonderful blogger who loves doing art. I’ve got the help of my resident author setting up a Thunderclap campaign that I hope and pray is successful. This is an exciting new avenue for me to help indie authors. If this really does go well, then I may offer to organize other blog tours for struggling authors.
Now I know that my own following isn’t very big, but, some of those who have volunteered to be a part of the tour have much larger followings than I do so the reach will be bigger than just my tiny part of the internet. The bloggers use a variety of blog platforms so the reach into various forums will be better, at least that is my thought. For those bloggers I am so grateful for their participation. They make my dream of helping indie authors on a volunteer basis a reality. Because I’ve always been an avid reader, this kind of volunteer work is perfect for me. I created my own volunteer organization of one. How cool is that?
May everything you read be engaging,